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'[EE] substandard archiver subscribed to the list'
2005\09\01@104923 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Lee Jones wrote:

> You are confusing list expansion with CC/BCC.  A CC or BCC address is
> specified in the header portion by the user agent when composing the
> message.  It may be either a single recipient or a list.
>
> If a single recipient, then when the user agent hands the message to
> your SMTP client, the SMTP client extracts all addresses from all To:,
> CC:, and BCC: fields appearing in the header.  One connection is made to
> each destination system for each single recipient(*).  During the SMTP
> dialog, the client uses the "rcpt to:" to specify the recipient on the
> SMTP server system.

I'm not sure I understand you correctly, but it seems you are not talking
about a general standard here, but rather about how a specific
implementation of email user agent and smtp client works.

In many cases, what you seem to call user agent and what you seem to call
smtp client are both parts of one program. In these cases, there isn't
really a BCC header field that would indicate a BCC recipient to the smtp
client -- this is done in a different way, internally to the program.

Since it is exactly the purpose of the "B" in BCC that the recipient is
/not/ listed in any headers, I also assume that your smtp client strips out
such a header line before sending the message if it receives one with it
from your user agent.

In any case, the scenario you describe here is probably not a standard, and
it is probably not even very common, at least WRT the BCC field (among
email GUI applications, that is, which are probably used by a large
majority of email users).

Gerhard

2005\09\01@121133 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face

On Sep 1, 2005, at 7:49 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> In many cases, what you seem to call user agent and what you seem
> to call smtp client are both parts of one program.

I think that's pretty rare...

> Since it is exactly the purpose of the "B" in BCC that the recipient is
> /not/ listed in any headers, I also assume that your smtp client
> strips out
> such a header line before sending the message if it receives one with
> it
> from your user agent.
>
SMTP clients should NEVER strip ANY headers.  Period.

BillW

2005\09\02@093244 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

>> Mailing lists could be run by appointment with the
>> administrator of the originating server.
>
> NNTP, more or less?  

I don't really understand the purposes of mailing lists anymore. There used
to be a reason for them, but I don't see any advantages these days over
NNTP.

Gerhard

2005\09\02@094301 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
William ChopsWestfield wrote:

>> In many cases, what you seem to call user agent and what you seem
>> to call smtp client are both parts of one program.
>
> I think that's pretty rare...

How about Eudora, Outlook, Outlook Express, Pegasus, Thunderbird, 40tude
Dialog, Forte Agent -- I'm sure you can come up with more? They all are
what Lee called "user agent" (the part that the user interacts with) and
smtp client (the part that talks to an smtp server to send out the message)
united in one program. On Windows and Mac pre-OS X systems, this type of
email reader is the norm, probably because there's no smtp client provided
by the operating system.


>> Since it is exactly the purpose of the "B" in BCC that the recipient is
>> /not/ listed in any headers, I also assume that your smtp client strips
>> out such a header line before sending the message if it receives one
>> with it from your user agent.
>>
> SMTP clients should NEVER strip ANY headers.  Period.

Maybe you think they /should/ not, but they /do/. This is important for BCC
to work as intended in some configurations. The crucial question is: What
good would be BCC addressing if BCC recipients were listed in the message
headers?


It seems you are using an Apple computer, possibly running OS X, possibly
using a scheme with separate user agent and smtp client, as Lee described,
since this seems to be common in Unix. In that case you might be using
something like sendmail as smtp client. Check out the sendmail
documentation what it says about Bcc, specifically the option -t (which is
used in the mode Lee described):

-t     Read message for recipients.  To:, Cc:, and Bcc: lines will
      be scanned for recipient addresses.  The Bcc: line will be
      deleted before transmission.  Any addresses in the argument
      list will be suppressed, that is, they will not receive
      copies even if listed in the message header.

In this mode, the Bcc header is being used by whatever user agent to
communicate the BCC recipients to sendmail, the smtp client. But it is
/not/ desired to communicate the BCC recipients to all recipients,
therefore the smtp client /must/ strip this header before mailing the
message when used in this mode.

(There are of course other ways to use sendmail that do not use message
headers to communicate the recipients to sendmail. In this case, sendmail
in fact does not strip any headers -- but there is no Bcc header to strip
to begin with when doing it this way.)


When talking about how things /should/ work, it's always good to refer to
any standards that may exist. RFC 2822 is such a standard
http://rfc.net/rfc2822.html. In section "3.6.3. Destination address fields"
it says about the Bcc header field:

  The "Bcc:" field (where the "Bcc" means "Blind Carbon Copy") contains
  addresses of recipients of the message whose addresses are not to be
  revealed to other recipients of the message.  There are three ways in
  which the "Bcc:" field is used.  In the first case, when a message
  containing a "Bcc:" field is prepared to be sent, the "Bcc:" line is
  removed even though all of the recipients (including those specified
  in the "Bcc:" field) are sent a copy of the message.  In the second
  case, recipients specified in the "To:" and "Cc:" lines each are sent
  a copy of the message with the "Bcc:" line removed as above, but the
  recipients on the "Bcc:" line get a separate copy of the message
  containing a "Bcc:" line.  (When there are multiple recipient
  addresses in the "Bcc:" field, some implementations actually send a
  separate copy of the message to each recipient with a "Bcc:"
  containing only the address of that particular recipient.) Finally,
  since a "Bcc:" field may contain no addresses, a "Bcc:" field can be
  sent without any addresses indicating to the recipients that blind
  copies were sent to someone.  Which method to use with "Bcc:" fields
  is implementation dependent, but refer to the "Security
  Considerations" section of this document for a discussion of each.

The "Security Considerations" section talks about different ways to better
ensure that BCC recipients do not get revealed, not even accidentally by
themselves in replies. Not revealing recipients is the purpose of BCC
addressing, and processing of the Bcc header field (including deleting or
modifying it) in the smtp client can be crucial for this -- depending on
how the smtp client is being used by the user agent.


A discussion of different implementations of the Bcc header handling:
http://www.exim.org/pipermail/exim-users/Week-of-Mon-20040809/075007.html

Gerhard

2005\09\02@102602 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> I don't really understand the purposes of mailing lists anymore. There
> used to be a reason for them, but I don't see any advantages these days
> over NNTP.

Nicer interface, easier to route individual mesages at the destination, come
to mind immediately.  I have occasionally tried newsgroups but found the
interface more annoying, although I can't remember the details.  I gave up
on them a few years ago.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\09\02@164743 by Peter

picon face


On Fri, 2 Sep 2005, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

{Quote hidden}

The purpose of mailing lists was to evade flame wars and spam from the
NNTP groups ;-)

Peter

2005\09\03@084139 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Olin Lathrop wrote:

>> I don't really understand the purposes of mailing lists anymore. There
>> used to be a reason for them, but I don't see any advantages these days
>> over NNTP.
>
> Nicer interface, easier to route individual mesages at the destination, come
> to mind immediately.  I have occasionally tried newsgroups but found the
> interface more annoying, although I can't remember the details.  

In this context, IMO it makes sense to distinguish between NNTP (the
protocol), USENET (a public network of NNTP servers that propagate a set of
public newsgroups), newsgroups (the meaning often depends on the context:
sometimes used to mean NNTP, sometimes used to mean USENET, sometimes used
to mean discussion groups on any NNTP server) -- and of course the user
agent/newsreader.

- Nicer interface: If you mean the user interface, I think this depends
entirely on the newsreader. Several (like Forte Agent or Outlook Express)
have the same UI for email and news. Since you seem to be using Outlook
Express, I'm not sure what you mean with this. How is the OE interface
different for a newsgroup like gmane.comp.hardware.microcontrollers.pic and
for an email folder to which you filter all piclist messages? I only know
OE very superficially, but from what I remember, the interface is pretty
much the same.

- Easier to route individual mesages at the destination: I'm also not sure
what you mean with this. Again, with OE, the filtering capabilities (if
that is what you mean by 'routing') are the same for email and news.


One thing that's a common complaint from (email) piclist readers is the
number of messages that don't interest them. If these would use a typical
newsreader interface to a newsgroup, these complaints wouldn't exist: you
read the threads that are of interest and skip the others.

In general, I think that both the NNTP protocol and the typical user
interface of newsreaders are more appropriate for discussion groups; after
all, that's what they were created for. Mailing lists are in a way an abuse
of the mail protocols to achieve a similar end result.

Gerhard

2005\09\03@193814 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
On Sep 3, 2005, at 5:41 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:

> I think that both the NNTP protocol and the typical user
> interface of newsreaders are more appropriate for discussion groups

I think we're in "violent agreement."   The Cadsoft Eagle newsgroups
(hosted at cadsoft) seem to work quite well, for instance, as an
alternative to a mailing list.

But likewise, it's a mistake to assume that every "mailing list"
is a "discussion group", and the SMTP protocols have to keep that
it mind as well...

It's interesting to contemplate how much of the sociology of the
modern internet can be traced to protocols manipulated by liberal
university types for deployment on a military-run (well, DoD) network.

BillW

2005\09\03@195146 by olin piclist

face picon face
Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
> In this context, IMO it makes sense to distinguish between NNTP (the
> protocol), USENET (a public network of NNTP servers that propagate a
> set of public newsgroups), newsgroups (the meaning often depends on
> the context: sometimes used to mean NNTP, sometimes used to mean
> USENET, sometimes used
> to mean discussion groups on any NNTP server) -- and of course the
> user agent/newsreader.

I was referring to receiving newsgroups via NNTP.  I wasn't commenting on
their content in any way, only the hassle level of the interface I happened
to be using.

> - Nicer interface: If you mean the user interface, I think this
> depends entirely on the newsreader. Several (like Forte Agent or
> Outlook Express) have the same UI for email and news. Since you seem
> to be using Outlook Express, I'm not sure what you mean with this.

I was using OE at the time.  It was several years ago, and I don't remember
the details as I said.  All I remember a higher hassle factor for newsgroups
than for email lists.  No, I can't justify this any further, I don't
remember any more than that.  But I did abandon newsgroups at the time for
that reason.

> - Easier to route individual mesages at the destination: I'm also not
> sure what you mean with this.

I use several different email identities (as defined by OE) on three
different machines.  I often do a FILE > SAVE AS on a message to a text
file, then run a command (sortof my version of sendmail, but a lot less
ugly) to route the whole email to another address.  I don't think that is
possible with newsgroup messages because they aren't already in email
format.


*****************************************************************
Embed Inc, embedded system specialists in Littleton Massachusetts
(978) 742-9014, http://www.embedinc.com

2005\09\04@043254 by Peter

picon face

On Sat, 3 Sep 2005, William Chops Westfield wrote:

> On Sep 3, 2005, at 5:41 AM, Gerhard Fiedler wrote:
>
>> I think that both the NNTP protocol and the typical user
>> interface of newsreaders are more appropriate for discussion groups
>
> I think we're in "violent agreement."   The Cadsoft Eagle newsgroups
> (hosted at cadsoft) seem to work quite well, for instance, as an
> alternative to a mailing list.

I think that there is convergence between the old protocols and the
'new' (amalgamated) protocols. E.g. gmane.org turns mailing lists into
newsgroups, and then allows them to be viewed as blogs, as framed lists
of articles, etc. Same for Google groups (nee Usenet News). Resistance
is futile, we will be amalgamated. The email client plays mp3s and the
mp3 player can receive email. After a while of doing this, one starts to
wonder why people insist in finding differences between protocols.

Peter

2005\09\04@150520 by Gerhard Fiedler

picon face
Peter wrote:

>> I don't really understand the purposes of mailing lists anymore. There used
>> to be a reason for them, but I don't see any advantages these days over
>> NNTP.
>
> The purpose of mailing lists was to evade flame wars and spam from the
> NNTP groups ;-)

I don't think that has much to do with NNTP. This has to do with having to
sign up to be able to post and with being moderated. Both features are
possible with NNTP servers just as well.

I think the 'convergence' thing you mentioned is just what's happening, and
it's a good thing. No need to really gripe about the medium used... don't
like mailing lists: get it from gmane.org (or some other gateway)  :)

Gerhard

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